“Summation of the alpha, beta, and omega dynamics of Ethral Whales
By, Dr Banner
Ethral whales have a two puberties the gap between them can last a number of years. The first perberty is of primary sexual traits, and sexually mature. The second puberty is for the secondary sexual characteristics, the double fluke of the alpha, and for all the enhancement of the melon spot.
A sexually mature female can reproduce, an omega male must have the second puberty completed to become pregnant. There is a notable difference in the time of maturation between the secondary characteristics of the alpha and omega. Betas are assumed to be a constant, as they’re maturation seems to be a steady inbetween for the most part.
Size is misleading in Ethral whales, unlike Cherri et. al. where they made the long standing observation that the alphas get much larger citing the amber reticulated double fluked female in the philippines; this particular example has been debunked. The whale “Ina” has been sighted at this location for over fifty years, there are pictures of her without the double fluke.
Recently a tooth of hers was obtained and sampled Ina is a sixty year old Omega, her hormones levels have changed and thus allowed for a second fluke to develop. The omegas of the Ethral whales typically in the males are much larger than their male beta and alpha counterparts. Females are also usually larger than those two as well, they follow a similar habit with the larger whales of the mother fasting during the first part of calf raising in a safer habitat.
The strange and oftentimes delightful patterns on the Ethral whales seem to serve no purpose and are just variants like that a patterned animal, colors seem to have a broad spectrum and some colors are only found in certain waters. Like that of the coat termed ‘barred curtain’ is usually only seen on the Ethral whales in the baltic sea.
It has been noted that the dolphins tend to pair up in same primary gender groups, they are highly social. Non omega males then to pair off and leave the pod for period of a few years only returning once their secondary features have matured usually to breed and then leave again. Omega males have been observed staying with the pod, whether to rear their own or help others it's uncertain. Ethral whales do communially raise calves, it's been observed one mother providing for a calf not her own with milk.”
Drinking someone’s milk given willingly was probably what saved him. Some of the other calves mocked him for it though. It was sort of humiliating, but Tony tamped that down, Ana had a lot of sway in the pod, and his mom had been well liked so… well here he was now with his intended partner Ty.
The only other male in his age range that tolerated him, Ana had been a bit miffed about the pair. Though the pod seemed happy with the pair and bid them adieu as they started their first year away from the pod. They’d meet again come breeding season, Tony was already looking forward to that. The warmer waters were far more appealing to his lithe form over the food rich cold waters.
Ty was showing off his maneuvers to the other paired dolphins leaving. Ty was certain he’d be a beta, as both his parents were, and that's how it worked unless a grandparent wasn’t and then a slight chance of not beta. Beta was a recessive trait and it seemed pretty hard to shake over all. Though Ty’s family reaching back to the great purge had always been beta so Ty was probably right.
The purge being the time where the land mites had hunted them, and then they’d hidden deep under. The mites had thrown bombs in the water as they fought and deeper they swam till the light faded. That was how the story went, Maria was fond of it. She had promised him to show him the hidden spots around the mediterranean, she couldn’t now but Tony hoped he’d be able to find a few for himself.
As for Tony, Ana hadn’t speculated his secondary gender, Maria also hadn’t said anything. Maria had been a beta, but the male she coupled with had been an alpha. Howard had been intelligent but also brash and when his partner Obie had swum back to the pod scarred up and bleeding no one had doubted that Howard might have nipped the wrong fish, more fish than he could chew. The two had been a pair of alphas and the fact that an alpha male pair had swum back to the pod during feasting and calving season, had caused alarmed.
News that the land mite were still hunting them cause dread, but it was only in certain seas so they changed their patterns accordingly. Avoid and reduce contact, which is what you had to do with suce a belligerent creature. It seemed violence was the land mite’s nature. Obie had died the next day, the healers of the pod finding bits of metal embedded deep in his flesh. Maria had said it was terrible and refused to discuss any more details. Tony still had dreams about the bits of metal, land mites would shoot them out at such speeds that they went through the insulating blubber like it wasn’t there.
That really didn’t matter though he had Ty to help him and Ty wasn’t going to let him forget that. Tony swamp up next to his partner who was still showing off elaborate swimming tricks to some of the other males that were making their way out to the ocean blue to travel and grow and learn.
Ty took off on a sideway orientation, hitting Tony with his fluke and did a sideways loop. The amber one in the pair stopped watching Ty and swam alongside Tony, pectoral fin brushing his own as he inquired if Tony was alright. That made Ty mad that Tony was distracting them from his marvelous tricks. Tony got to hear about that later.
He learned from the deep blue one that went by Falk, that his mother told him the squid come up from the deep on the nights where the moon is full. Falk was ready to eat some squid, Falk had already planned their route based on food. The amber one Happy was happily talking about it.
“I’m gonna bash some clams with rocks!”
Happy bobbed his head mimicking a rock smash. Ty made a dismissive noise and the other pair politely inquired what their plans were for.
“I’d like to see the hidden coves in the mediterranean.”
“Pssh, Tony no one cares. You don’t even know where they are. We’re going to the north to check out the northern pod!”
Tony clicked Happy was still touching his pectoral, head tilted just so.
“The northerners don’t really mingle with the rest of us you know that right?”
Falk spoke airily his ability to convey emotions was far more pronounced as he was an early calf of the season, just a few months after his first puberty. So his mental communications with his melon was more fine tuned than anyone in the makeshift pod.
“I’ll win them over with my moves.”
Ty announced as he did another flip, showing of his rich brown color. Falk exchanged a glance and a slight head tilt with Happy.
“Right, well you know the normal route if you are around we should meet up again. Nice seeing you Two and good luck.”
Tony watched as the two swam off to the current that would take them west, Ty was swimming due north as he knew eventually they’d get to the northern pod. They were not following any known courses which gave Tony some anxiety, he’d not had his first puberty so some of his skills weren’t as refined.
There was a list of his faults within the first week. Ty had already categorized them, he was slow, needed to many breaks, an awful hunter, terrible with mingling. On and on, Tony wasn’t a bad hunter it's just a lot of the ways he learned required two whales to be working together. Ty often left mid hunt. So yes they were eating a lot of clams, cause clams didn’t swim away.
They would jump out of the water along the wakes of big ships, something that the common purpose would do. It wasn’t strictly forbidden but Tony felt off doing it. Mostly because he Ty would antagonize him and when he finally managed to join up in the jumps with the dolphins, Ty would do something, like jump out under him and slam his beak into Tony’s underside. That and he felt that the dolphins were reluctant to get close to him. Mock him that his jumps were lopsided or he was ‘breaking’ formation. Tony didn’t like the big ships he’d heard enough stories about them hitting others, dumping trash in the ocean. He just didn’t like them but he couldn’t loose Ty so he’d tag along.
Ty also would sleep, while Tony was sleeping instead of watching. He also would wake Tony maybe 2 hours into his sleep so he could sleep. Waking Ty up early would end up with a careless fluke smash or melon poke. He’d apologize but throughout the day it would happen over and over. Tony was torn he didn’t like Ty but he stood a better chance of survival with Ty than without.
Or course that was before Ty essentially swam them into the wasteland of the ocean. There was no food, there wasn’t much in the area and the surface was filled with scuzzy plastic debris. Tony was cranky and unhappy the entire time, and eventually hungry as well. When they got out of the dead zone Ty bolted away from Tony, he attempted to follow but failed.
A day later Tony finally caught up with Ty who was in company of two larger males. They were also heading to the northern breeding grounds. They were swimming at a leisurely pace and politely ignored Tony all together. So he trailed in their wake as Ty galavanted up front. Occasionally they chattered at one point the big silver inquired about Tony falling behind.
“We can slow down, and still be early. Your partner keeps falling behind.”
“Tony’s always like that, he’s trying to steal the show.”
Ty clipped back annoyed that Tony was stealing the attention, yet again. He’d had hoped that he’d ditched Tony the previous day. The runt had been a barb in his side since the pod assigned him. Ty would have prefered to go it alone without some needy calf at his side need so much sleep and being incompetent with mostly everything.
“Ah, yeah Steve was like that too, used to start fights all the time and I had to rescue him.”
The silver chortled placing his pectoral fin on Steve’s side the mottled blue made a disagreeable sound.
“I’m not the one that gets fluke smacked by all the girls.”
They both chortled at a shared joke. Tony followed behind, while Ty also laughed not wanting to be left out.
“Alright I got first watch, you guys can have mid watch and Buck will have dawn watch. Sound good?”
The mottled blue spoke to both Ty and Tony, Ty nodded and moved to sleep next to the silver. Tony tried to buddy up to Ty but he pushed him away. There was a silver pectoral around his side as Bucky pulled Tony over to his other side.
“Here is good, you look like you need a week of sleep, come on.”
Tony dosed as he cuddled close to Buck, he heard them talking but it didn’t make much sense. It was nice to have some warmth at his side.
“He’s so small, just like you punk. We should keep him.”
“And his partner, the jerk?”
“Maybe he’ll find someone at the pod?”
“Well I think we should let him sleep the whole night,”
“Yeah, sounds good, night Buck.”
A pair of slappy feet, pacing along his back. A foreign sensation for Tony, he wiggled stuck between the two larger whales it was mid morning and they both seemed to be snoozing. He couldn’t see Ty from his spot and the feet were still slapping at him even though he tried shaking them off.
“I know you’all didn’t have a kid, who is this?”
The feet where talking and Tony rolled a bit trying to see them.
“I’m Tony, what er who are you?”
The feet moved with his roll so he could make out a whitish bird with red accents.
“I’m Sam, a bird, or Tern. I’m here because there is a fish swell and I’d like to work with my flock and these two bozoos.”
Tony blinked looking at the bird he knew that they were friendly but he’d never seen one, much less have one walk all over him.
“I can help.”
Sam bobbed his head while he paced along Tony’s length.
“We’ll need them though. Buck’s got the stun tail down. You any good with the bubble net?”
Tony was about to nod but thought better of it with Sam standing near on it.
“Yes I’m good with the bubble nets.”
“You can work with Steve then.”
Same hopped up onto Steve’s back and stuck his beak in the blow hole and sheriked into it. Tony wasn’t sure if it would work because the hole was more of a nose than an ear. Surprisingly it did work Steve woke with a jerk and Sam fluttered off and back on to Tony. Steve vanished under the surface and then reappeared looking at Sam sheepishly.
“Right so fish?”
“Heck yes fish, we can talk about you stealing a calf later.”
The firm side of Bucky against Tony’s back juddered as he laughed. He paped Tony on the side with his pectoral.
“We didn’t steal him, he followed us.”
Tony wanted to voice that he wasn’t a calf but his belly spoke for him instead so that really didn’t help his case. Sam cackled and took off, They followed him and sure enough there was a fish ball. Tony followed Steve as they weaved a nice bubble net, Steve giving him pointers about how to do it better but overall Tony was doing well.
Buck had stunned a bunch of fish for the birds that kept the fish away from the surface and stuck in the bubble net. Tony saw a marlin dive into the ball, he waited till Steve gave him the clear to dive in. He wasn’t super good at it, the fish even though they were clumped together were still hard to catch.
He got maybe two out of his four tries, he preferred working the bubble net. As Steve would ‘mistakenly’ drop half a fish he was eating, same with Buck.
“Tony you should practice more, you’ll get better… or do what Bucky does.”
Tony watched buck charge the ball and then swing his tail into it and slapping fish with it. Then Buck would gobble up the stunned fish. Tony tried that and got two more fish which was better than the dive and eat plan.
A few bigger fish mostly marlin joined in, a single shark as well as they all worked the fish into a tighter packed ball and took turns diving into it. A massive humpback whale with one eye that was well known by Steve, Sam, and Buck had appeared and pretty much finished the ball off. Nick had been alerted by Sam’s flock of the food. He’d shown off his bubble net technique per Steve’s request and Tony eagerly learned from the whale. Finally Tony had experienced a real hunt, and while he definitely needed to practice he felt pretty good about his performance.
It was a bit later the ball was now just scales drifting down and the massive shadow of Nick grew smaller and smaller. He nosed around a few fish trying to keep them floating and not sinking, Steve was chatting with the birds and Tony was too consumed in this odd task to fail to notice Bucky.
“Hey what are you doing here?”
Tony flinched at the sudden noise and dove down to poke one of the fish back to the same level. Feeling really silly about saving fish for Ty who had not appeared yet.
“Um fish for Ty?”
Bucky snorted pul lifted up one of the sinking fish.
“He left for the breeding grounds, early morning around the time he was to take watch.”
Tony looked at the fish that he’d been poking and ate it. Feeling a bit out of sorts he’d know Ty had barely tolerated him. Though he’d hoped that they’d work that out, but apparently Tony was still too slow for Ty. Kinda hurt that his partner was looking to ditch him at the first chance. Bucky pressed up against his side.
“Hey we’re also going to the breeding grounds, we’ll take you and then you can give him a piece of your mind. Okay?”
Tony managed a nod but he really didn’t want to see Ty again if he was honest with himself. Snagging another one of the fish and eating it. He should work hard on putting on weight so he can get his first puberty and then maybe mate?
“You can have the fish.”
Poking the fish on Bucky’s fin with his snout.
It was gone quickly but Buck still didn’t leave the close quarters with Tony, it sort of reminded him of his mom. When he’d been much smaller the comforting presence of her against his flank. So he allowed Bucky to provide that level of comfort.
With just a few days of proper rest and feeding Tony had a growth spurt. He still felt incredibly bad that he was slowing Buck and Steve down though. He even apologized and Steve had cut him off claiming that even if they made haste now, they’d still be to early to the place and it didn’t have much in the way of food, so it was best to stock up and show up a day late than be early and starving. Tony still felt a bit bad about it though but he’d learned with his short time with the two that Steve was incredibly stubborn and wouldn’t accept an apology.
His growth spurt took him into his first puberty, which came with an awkward hard on and some really pretty designs on his body from what he could see. Bucky had teased him about the light yellow petals that stretched along his body. Though when Steve came in to heckle Buck it turned into a sort of free for all. Buck was an iron curtain and Steve was a blue mess, Tony was really confused for the most part as they seemed to be laughing with each other rather than when Ty had made fun of his lack of vibrancy and laughed at him.
He was quick to say he liked bother Buck’s barred curtain marks and Steve’s galaxy pattern. Which earned him some playful ribbing and beak nuzzles, till Steve found his ticklish stop under his chin. Then everything had begun in earnest, nuding and beak poking thrashing and giggling. Now Tony was floating catching his breath and Steve and Bucky tried to finish each other off. Being with these two felt safe, more complete than with Ty. Tony hoped he could maybe join up with these two instead of Ty. Hoping that Ty would be long gone or at least have another partner for the next part of their adventure.
He watched them spin and poke, and then their movements took on a more graceful approach. Then Tony of course realized half way through watching it that they weren’t playing anymore. He could feel his beak get warm and his fins tingle as he watched Steve couple with Bucky in a vertical tango. He’d heard about it back at the home pod, he just didn’t think that far about his new friends. He closed his eyes trying to give them some privacy which didn’t work as Bucky called out to him in a sing song voice.
“Tony come check out Steve! He’s turning purple!”
Tony opened one eye to look at them, they’d moved closer still coupled. Steve was very much purple at this time, eyes closed tightly with his head tucked under Buck’s.
“Is he okay?”
Tony was worried, did it hurt?
“I’m fine Tony, Bucky just mentioned something that got me uhh flustered.”
“Hot and bothered, you mean. I told him you were watching us and he got super aroused. He clamped on to me so tight. Give my dick back punk.”
“It's mine you gave it to me Jerk!”
They spun a bit with a few playful bites, eventually disengaged and joined Tony up at the surface. Steve was mouthing the bonding mark on Bucky’s pectoral flipper and the big silver was cooing at Steve. Tony wanted that, what they had something nice between best friends not this meet’n’fuck that Ty had always been going on about. He was a bit envious, of what they had though he felt that once he finally presented his secondary gender that he could really look for a life mate or maybe just stick with these two for the rest of his life.
Eventually Steve stopped goobering Bucky’s fin and took a place beside Tony as they sandwiched him in. Swimming towards the breeding grounds but also stopping to hunt for crabs. Which Bucky taught Tony how to use a rick to smash the crabs for easier munching. Learning that Steve didn’t like crabs much and getting him a clam. Then dealing with the the positive affirmation of getting Steve a clam, which was easily opened by using Bucky’s rock smash technique.
“So when we show, I think you know Peggy will be there.”
Steve turned purple again around his melon spot and under his eye, ducking his beak into the open clam shells. Hiding from Buck who was finishing up a crab.
“She’ll want to see you lil Stevie, and we can show Tony off too! It's been a while since a southern whale has been by.”
Tony noted that Bucky made no mention of Ty at all, it felt really good actually.
“Stevie here had the biggest of crushes on Peggy when he was a calf!”
“It's not like you think, my mom passed when I was young and Peggy picked up that role, so yes I was in love but like familiar love. She was very kind and I was very small at that time.”
Tony looked up from his clams and crabs he’d been eager to smash everything and now was paying for it by sorting the hard bits out of the succulent meat bits.
“My ma died too while I was still suckling, but Ana the matriarch got me milk but I had to also eat fish, not enough milk.”
Steve looked at Tony strangely over the clams that he’d been feasting on.
“Well she’ll want to meet you Tony, and see us of course. Maybe she’ll even show us how to eat urchins.”
Tony blinked Bucky was really good at avoiding awkward chats, he was thankful for it.
“You can eat urchins?”
“Yup, we should arrive sometime this afternoon.”
They did arrive in the afternoon only because they were delayed by a huge smack of jellyfish. They opted to go around since no one was willing to test if they were the stinging kind. So as they swam around the light blocking smack Tony admired the deadly little ruffles and they way the translucent bodies fluttered in the currents. He wondered if one could eat them and would they taste like ocean?
Tony felt like Bucky and Steve were showing him off to the pod, he saw Ty once or twice. Though mostly he was being introduced to several of the other pod mates that hadn’t seen Buck or Steve in a while. There was some flirting but nothing too aggressive, some even flirted with Tony, which had him ducking under Steve or Bucky which ever one was closer.
They were part of a small selection of whales that got to venture close to shore with the matriarch and learn how to flip, disarm and eat certain types of urchins. Peggy was very nice, she even doted on Tony when he’d figured out a slightly different way to remove the spines. That involved using a rock to smash, he really enjoyed the rock smashing. The extra urchins he got from Peggy were divvied up, Tony shared with the rest of the mini pod. Which earned him more respect among the whales, and from Peggy.
It was nice, to be in a big pod again, he had a few tentative friends from the mini lesson. Natasha was very nice even if she was hard to approach with her ebony coat that sparkles in the sunlight. It looked bland far away but Tony noticed during the urchin exercise that there was a multitude of many colors woven along her sides and in the sun the black took on a dark red. He thought it was very pretty always been a bit partial to the color of red. He told her so as soon as he noticed it.
She had been cold to him at first, though after he modified the urchin smash and shared the extra meat he’d been given as a reward. She seemed to warm up, though only after he went with Bucky to do a clam run for Steve and Clint did She engage Tony at all. She admitted to getting jelly tail from his complement, and took it upon herself to teach Tony how to properly sneak. Citing that if his partner should be Ty once more Tony ought to know how to keep a low profile to avoid the danger Ty gets into. Tony really liked Natasha she had a different way of looking at things.
Ty was flirting around and really only spent some time lingering in the back. Tony ignored him for the most part as he made new friends and learned other tricks. Like the tail beat in the sand to disoreinte fish and eat them in the shallows. A whale with a gaudy purple skin was showing it off in the sandy bottom. Tony was intrigued certainly the demo looked easy but the fish holder was just a clam shell. He practiced with Bucky trying to get the idea down pat so he could try it out later.
With all the lessons and community time, as well as bonding that was happening, Tony was pretty excited to practice some mating dances pretty much alone till Steve appeared. Tony jerked mid spin and did a belly flop, the sting of his belly didn’t match the sting of his embarrassment. Steve was pretty amused,
“To bad Thor isn’t here, he thinks belly flops are majestic.”
Tony later learns that Thor is a big manta that comes by often and does belly flops to entice his mates. Thor also couples with a few whales occasionally, one of the few cross species relationships to exist.
There was also news, rumors that whaling had become more prevalent in certain areas. The edge of the blight, which turned out to be the plastic ocean. That area had a lot of the near death incidents, the whales coming to the consensus that most whales are smart enough not to swim through the expanding plastic sea, and swim around it. The land mites had figured that out and were now hunting them at the edge.
Tony decided to avoid the plastic blight, there were safer ways to go. Ways that had food too, he’d gained even more mass at the northern breeding grounds, which was unexpected. Though Natasha was the one that let him know that the matriarch and her co conspirators had decided to fatten him up because he was still rather small. A sign of love, for sure! Tony was very pink for most of the day after Natasha had let him know. Bucky of course had teased him about the pink hues that darkened his reddish skin, but nothing could dampen the elation that the northern pod considered him family.
It came to end too soon, Tony spent the last day with Bucky and Steve playing and talking. They of course invited him to their partnership. He agreed and they all decided to meet up early next morning to go hunting in the inky sea to get squid. Ty had been seen with a whale known as Rumlow and most of the pod had come to the conclusion that was a new partnership. Tony was very happy to have everything he could ever dream of.